By Luke Voogt
COVID-19 cases in Geelong reached 53 today after the seventh Victorian died from the disease yesterday.
The rise of three, from 50 yesterday, comes after a Belmont brothel made national headlines after being fined almost $10,000 for flouting social distancing.
Police shut down the brothel on Wednesday and issued an escort with an additional fine, Deputy Commissioner Shane Patton told a press conference yesterday.
The 53 confirmed cases in greater Geelong so far included an employee at NDIA’s CBD headquarters and another at Faggs Mitre 10.
The increase comes as a man in his 80s died in hospital yesterday, bringing the Victorian coronavirus death toll to seven.
Across the state confirmed coronavirus cases rose by 49 today bringing the total to 1085, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.
The number included 577 men and 504 women. Cases range in age from babies to their early nineties.
“Currently 37 people are in hospital – including seven patients in intensive care – and 476 people have recovered,” the department said.
Of the total 1085 cases, 866 occurred in Melbourne and 205 in regional Victoria, with some other cases still under investigation.
According to the department 62 confirmed cases of COVID-19 may have been acquired through community transmission.
More than 51,000 tests have been conducted to date.
As the pandemic worsened Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton urged Victorians to get their flu vaccine ahead of the upcoming influenza season.
“Influenza is a serious illness that kills many Victorians each year,” Professor Sutton said.
“With COVID-19 now also circulating in the State, a widespread influenza outbreak would be a devastating double-whammy for our health services to cope with.
“The best way to prevent flu is by getting vaccinated each year and I encourage everyone to get their annual flu shot from now.
“It is also important that workplaces that are still operating continue to offer their usual employee influenza immunisation programs.”
Police can issue on-the-spot fines, including up to $1652 for individuals and up to $9913 for businesses who fail to comply with social distancing restrictions.
Under the State of Emergency people who fail to comply could also face a fine of up to $20,000 in court while companies could face fines of up to $100,000.
Coronavirus cases on the Surf Coast remained at nine today for the second day in a row.
Department of Health and Human Services COVID-19 hotline: 1800 675 398.